Daihatsu and Stratasys combine for user-customized Copens
Japan's oldest carmaker, Daihatsu and American 3D printing company Stratasys have come together to let Daihatsu Copen owners design their own car panels and have them made to order. Utilizing the unique changeable panel system on the open sports car, special panels will accept costumer designed elements with new shapes and textures. This personalized driving experience was recently proven by Designers Kota Nezu and Junjie Sun on their "Effect Skins" project and Gizmag went along to the 2015 Design Engineering & Manufacturing Solutions Expo to see the results.
In recent years, 3D printing technologyhas become a viable prototyping and specialist manufacturing process within theautomotive industry. So the step towards making this process available to thewider general public is a logical progression. The Effects Skincustomization process uses DDM (Direct Digital Manufacturing) and is designed to add an extra dimension to the widerDRESS-FOMATION project, in which Daihatsu gives car owners the ability to completely change all theouter panels of their Copen. Daihatsu says such a combination of new panels with 3D inserts of your own design creates a limitless style expression for your car.
The key part of the process is the FDM(Fused Deposition Modeling), which uses a high UV stability ASA thermoplasticmaterial that matches the color and look of the existing panels. For the EffectSkins project, the front and rear bumper inserts as well as the badgesurrounds were offered in 12 design types and 10 color variations. Whenlaunched, hopefully early in 2016, this customization servicecould mean that no two Daihatsu Copen`s are the same – a truly "customer-ized" car.
Source : Stratasys
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I wonder if they could do the same for the Smart Fortwo and Smart Forfour? It too has interchangeable panels. They are also easily changed so one can have a different color if one wanted without having to repaint it or buy a different car.